A “Champagne Rosé” (literally, “Pink Champagne”) is a sparkling wine (elaborated through the Traditional Method also called “Méthode Champenoise”) produced in the French region of Champagne from either only black grapes or from the blending of red wines and white wines. It belongs to the Champagne Appellation (AOC Champagne).

Most often, these pink-colored wines are produced by combining red wine with white wine. This method is commonly referred to in French as “Rosé d’Assemblage,” which can be literally translated as “blended pink.” The red wine must come from the Champagne region and must be blended prior to the “Tirage” (required). It is typically a great red wine from Pinot Noir made in a “Grand Cru” area like Bouzy (click here to learn more about the general concept of “Crus”). However, the wine may also be “bled off” after skin maceration (drawn of the skins). As a result, these wines are referred to as “Rosé de Saignée” in French.

Rosé Champagnes typically have a gently tannic character. Most are made by adding 8-20% top quality red wine (usually from Pinot Noir) to obtain a blended wine ready for the “prise de mousse” phase (also reffered as second fermentation in bottle).

The general challenge of Rosé Champagnes resides in crafting the base wine in order to find the right balance between color, flavor and texture. Furthermore, tannins can be a little bit astringent so great care is needed to integrate them as best as possible in the final result. Making Champagne rosé through the “Rosé de Saignée” technique (i.e. making one rosé base wine) gives base wines that are much more structured and full-bodied. Therefore, it implies much more risk regarding the final result. This is the reason why, although some producers are very successful in making them, most Rosé Champagnes are made through the “Rosé d’assemblage” technique (i.e. making two base wines, red and white, and blending them).

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